Senator Mike Rounds responds to critics of his putting changes to the inheritance tax on the table

Senator Mike Rounds found himself involved in a slight controversy over his willingness to break with his fellow South Dakota delegation members in Washington, and joined a group of Senators who were willing to put changes to the inheritance tax on the table as part of a tax reform package to be negotiated.

In the Tri-State Neighbor newspaper, Mike explains why he believes it’s worth talking about:

As with any policy discussion, we recognize that in order to get the votes necessary to pass legislation, we will not all be able to get everything we want. Legislating sometimes requires compromise. Because some of my colleagues are opposed to repealing the death tax, I recently expressed an openness to raising the exemption on the death tax – to $30 million per family vs. $10.98 million today – if that is what it takes to get enough votes to pass comprehensive reform. Increasing the exemption would benefit every family-owned operation in South Dakota, while comprehensive tax reform would benefit every family in our state, farm and non-farm alike. It’s a situation in which we cannot let perfect get in the way of good – or in this case, really, really good.

We must also be careful that a full repeal of the death tax does not have unintended consequences. Many farmers today use the Family Limited Partnership under the gift tax rule, which is tied to the death tax under the U.S. tax code. If the death tax is eliminated, there is uncertainty with how gift rules would apply. As all farmers know, it is important to know the basis of your land value to understand how taxes would be applied.

While we still have a long road ahead of us in the tax reform discussion, we made progress… by passing a budget resolution, the first step to enacting meaningful tax reform that simplifies the code, lowers the rates for every South Dakotan and jolts our sluggish economy. As the tax reform debate moves forward, I will work to make certain our tax policies are fair to those who work hard, become successful, and wish to pass their businesses on to the next generation.

Read it all here.

What are your thoughts?

19 Replies to “Senator Mike Rounds responds to critics of his putting changes to the inheritance tax on the table”

  1. Liberty Dick

    Robber barons of the dead… What’s next? Looting graves? Eliminate the tax and cut spending. I hear there’s a repeal of the department of education bill floating around out there he could fill a campaign promise and sign onto.

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  3. Anonymous

    Sure, let’s just ignore that half of this country in both numbers and representation don’t share your views. You can take the politically safe position in this state and demand change knowing full well it won’t go anywhere in Washington. Obamacare anyone?
    I’m not looking forward to another failed attempt at reform because a handful of members in Congress have a pet issue they won’t budge on.
    Does myway or the highway work anywhere in life?

  4. SDGOPer

    This is just further evidence that he doesn’t share Thune and Noem’s belief in the fundamental unfairness of making death a taxable event. Limiting the number of people impacted doesn’t change the fact that it is ridiculous on its face. As Thune noted in is column, posted on this site just a few days ago, the number of people impacted doesn’t justify a confiscatory tax.

  5. Anonymous

    They get rid of the step up in basis and the impact on farms and families of the 98% that are not impacted by the death tax will be enormous. Ask a cpa or lawyer that does estate planning. Absolute shift of the tax burden to those families worth less that 11 million (counting husband and wife tax credit).

  6. Anonymous

    Read the article. He’s a Cosponsor of Thunes repeal bill. If they have the votes to repeal the tax altogether and pass real tax reform that would be great. But if this is going to derail tax reform that helps everybody not just the asset rich, he’s started what could be acceptable to get this done.

  7. Anonymous

    Everything should be on the table when negotiating a bill of this nature….then you are trying to get the most you can….

  8. Emoluments Clause

    Often on MSNBC, working with Democrats to save ObamaCare, and now working to keep an federal inheritance tax, this might keep you from having a Democratic opponent in 2020, but what about the Republican Senate nomination in 2020?…… 😉

  9. Anonymous

    Rounds is smart and strategic on this (for the GOP). Not just pushing the same rhetoric with zero results. I’d rather have 80% conservative change then to have years of nothing. Rounds actually lays out paths to change the status quo. How long has Thune been in congress? 20 years? D.C. Is broken and has been for awhile. What have they done to accomplish the points they’ve been pushing? I’d say they need to buckle down, get on the same page and get some damn results!

  10. Anon.

    Mike Roumds,
    I truly hope you and your staff read this blog and comment. My family is truly on the it’s third round of paying death tax after my Granddad in ’89 and last year my father, died. Each time we had to sell property off and live below poverty levels to keep the operation.
    My very first trip to D.C. in 2002, was to explain this to Sen. Daschle and Sen Johnson. Daschle would not meet with me and a slick white haired guy named Bart (I wanted to shower after meeting with him for 15 mins nor do I recall his last name) sat in chair and said nothing other than, “I’II make sure I pass your concerns on to the Senator.”
    Next was Johnson’s office. Once again we where told he was indisposed and could not meet. I sat in another chair and explained to Brian Jennings how even though through the “generous raising” of the tax to 4 million or so will help most of the farmers. I asked him, “what is keeping it from being lowered again?” He wouldn’t answer and gave me a dismissing look. Out of a side door in his office the gave us a parting wave with as we where walking out, then went back through to where he came.
    Rep. Thune understood and said many of his community members around Murdo faced the same issue and left.
    Unless the operation is sooo big to have ready available access to capital to write the tax check at the time, or have the time and the dollars to hire a GOOD acct or lawyer. Your kids are not going to be able to continue to farm.
    The small little “Sure you can hunt my quarter.” farmer is been replaced with an absentee land owner. That owner doesn’t send his kids to the school his property taxes support or worry about the hospital in the nearest town being up to standards because they, odds are, live at best in SF or Rapid. At worst, out of state.
    When in the wide world of sports are the majority of our D.C. delegation going to figure this out?
    Mike Rounds I am done with you. I will make sure that your part of our family’s history on the our ranch takes it’s place along the Senators in ’02 and that they know you are a true politician.
    Good luck pheasant hunting on your land this fall. Would you mind if I could bring my combine over next spring to combine your crumbs up after your pheasants are feed to I can earn a bit to feed my kids?
    Good luck.

    1. Anonymous

      So your ranch is worth more than 11 million? And you live below the poverty line? You didn’t have an estate plan and this is out problem?

  11. PseudoMarxist

    It’s funny how Republicans want the world to cry about death being a taxable event for millionaires.

    You’re pathetic.

    The inheritance tax should be the highest tax we have in this country. We are not a nation of aristocrats. No one is entitled to inherit anything.

    If we had an inheritance tax of, say 75%, with generous exemptions for charitable giving, we would show there world we are serious about ending the aristocracy and that we are genuinely interested in helping those in need.

    NO ONE is entitled to inherit ANYTHING.

    1. Springer

      No, no govt is entitled to “inherit” any penny of mine, when it’s my hard work that earned that penny and when that penny has already had taxes paid on it at least once. In a free country I should have control over who “inherits” that already taxed penny.


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